Going low-carb isn’t an easy decision if you are not prepared to give up some of your favorite food, in this particular case, we are talking about baked goods. Bagels, cupcakes, and bread are some of the things you’ll have to kiss goodbye if you are following a low-carb diet like the keto diet. But lucky for us there are a few alternatives that can be substituted for regular wheat flour, there’s just one issue, they are not as tasty as the real thing. This is where a product called xanthan gum comes in. A very useful ingredient to have in stock in your kitchen, not only does it make your cooking experience easy and worry free but it is also keto-friendly. Here are some of the ways xanthan gum could help your keto recipes.
What is it?
Xanthan gum starts off as a species of bacteria which after it is fed starch and whey is fermented, dried, milled and ground to a powder. It is usually found in processed food and is not a natural product. It is also quite popular in baking as a gluten-free alternative due to its ability to mimic the properties of gluten. It is also widely known as a thickener for soups and stews as well. And what really makes it keto-friendly is that the 7 grams of carbs found per teaspoon on xanthan gum does not count on your daily carb intake and has zero calories.
Why is it important to keto?
Since some keto recipes for baked goods substitute wheat flour for its high-levels of carbs and replaces it with ingredients such as almond flour or coconut flour it’s missing the key ingredient that holds it all together: gluten.
Gluten is a component of wheat flour that helps keep the shape of your bread and prevent it from falling apart. Without gluten, your low-carb goods may not have the right shape or consistency as regular bread would and that is where xanthan gum helps, adding a pinch or two into your recipe can help save your favorite cookie recipe from turning into a shapeless mess as it helps bind and keep all your ingredients together instead of letting it just fall apart.
Xanthan Gum is also great keto-friendly thickening agent for dishes like soups, stews or even gravy without having to worry about extra carbs added to your diet by adding just a tablespoon of cornstarch (which has seven grams per tablespoon) to your recipe.
It can also be used for a variety of dishes such as:
- Salad dressings
- Homemade syrups
- Weight-loss shakes
- Homemade ice cream
Overall Xanthan gum has a wide variety of uses in the kitchen especially if you are following a low-carb diet such as keto. It is important to remember though that it is a man-made product and may have side effects if mishandled or used regularly. It is recommended that the use of xanthan gum in cooking not exceed over 2 teaspoons.